CG's Annual 2019 Top and Bottom 5 GOTY (not stolen from Yahtzee probably)

Well it's about that time my friends. 2019 has basically blown it's load in terms of the game experiences that are coming out this year and we can look safely look back upon the year and reflect on the good and the bad and the utterly disappointing. Personally this year has been a really big mixed bag for me. I was looking forward to a lot of games that just ended up being a let down, not bad games, but not nearly as good as I had expected and hoped they would be.

Anyway let's start by getting the bad out of the way, like ripping off a band-aid.

5. Rage 2 - The first Rage was a really fun game with a terrible story and frankly too short of an experience to give it any real lasting power. When I saw the chaos of Rage 2 coming out, I was personally pretty excited for it because it appeared that they were trying to address the issues people had with Rage 1 directly. Unfortunately what you got with Rage 2 was an even worse story, and repetitive "go loot the bandit outpost" missions in an open world filled with really very little. The game functions and is still a solid shooter, but it's certainly not a great game nor memorable in anyway.

4. Remnant From the Ashes - A 3rd person shooting Dark Soulsy game!? Sign me the fuck up? Then having played the game you can sign me the fuck right back off of this unbalanced trash. A narrow field of view, on top of enemies spawning behind you, on top of bosses that are nothing but horde mode versions of normal enemies, and you get a frustratingly poor 3rd person shooting game. And a game that's even worse for trying to make itself a Souls-like. The concept here was good, but the developers had no clue what they were doing when it came to the game's design.

3. Death Stranding - Oh color me shocked that Kojima's ideas are not very good. People don't seem to realize that Kojima is just not a very good author, let alone game designer. But admittedly he is a pretty fun artist to watch and just see what batshit he comes up with next. Death's Stranding is a game where Kojima was never told "no" a single time during game development. At no point did anyone raise a hand and tell him "Uh sir, you state that you don't want players to fight the bad guys but there is no penalty for doing so." Or "Uh sir, your super natural scary bad guys can be beated by walking in 1 direction removing all sense of danger or urgency." Or "You know people normally don't WANT to be Fed Ex drivers." Death's Stranding is a game in the same way David Cage games are games, you could argue it is an experience but it isn't a game. Especially when you learn that everything that is supposed to be a challenge can actually just be ignored. There is no punishment for killing the human bad guys, there is no danger from BT's really just walk in a straight line and they'll forget about you. What's left is a walking sim that you can remove all challenge from once you get a couple of upgrades, and the rest of it is just going through the motions after that.

2. Ghost Recon Breakpoint - Ubisoft live service dog shit. An unfinished, buggy, dumpster fire of a game that constantly crashes or disconnects you from the single player online experience. You constantly lose progress thanks to whatever bug the game throws your way next. But like Fallout 76, the in-game real money store sure fucking works. Did they really need to release this piece of shit in the same year they released a fairly okay Division 2? Maybe they did it to make the Division look a lot better than it actually is, but at least that game works.

AND THE WORST GAME OF 2019......
1. Anthem - Holy fuck what the fuck happened here. We all thought that Bioware just had a second team on Mass Effect right? Like the main team was on Anthem and Anthem would be good right? Fucking hell we was wrong. There is nothing here. Anthem is a chopped up nonsense of a game. A looter shooter with no lo...............sorry had to load for a second there. A Looter shooter with no loot. A loot game with no character stat screen. A Looter game with loot that is fucking broken! A flame thrower that increases physical damage by 0% for 0 seconds, sign me up! Anthem is a game so bad that almost every lead developer involved quit the company. A bad so bad that their own roadmap was incomplete and they didn't even finish what they had announced. So bad they are apparently going to try and Final Fantasy 14 this bitch and completely remake the game. Fucking WoW.

Honorable shit mention:

Crackdown 3 - Microsoft continues to suck doggy dicks by releasing a once antisipated game that got delayed to hell and then just released out of nowhere. For good reason because the game is utter shit. Nobody knew it came out, nobody cares it's still out to this day.

Well now that we got 2019's vomit out of our mouth. Let's talk about the delightful games that made us forget about the bad times.

5. Borderlands 3 - Now I know that some people could not STAND the writing in this game. The humor is very dated and the villains can be cringe inducing. However Borderlands 3 is a fucking miracle in this day and age. A game from Take Two and Gearbox that is just a video game. No microtransaction bullshit, no pre-order omega editions with bonuses from 10 different stores in which you can buy it from. Just a AAA game that was allowed to be a video game. And it is a damn good video game too. The shooting is great, the loot is great, the guns are interesting and fun to use and provide lots of different tactic potential, the levels are fun (even if the map is ass wank), the bosses are interesting and unique mostly. The game is just a good game. Frankly that's a hard ask these days.

4. The Surge 2 - Deck 13 has been trying to make a Souls-like game for almost ten years now. Apparently 3rd time is the charm because The Surge 2 is fantastic. A highly detailed map that interconnects with all kinds of shortcuts and verticality. Fun and challenging combat with a high variety of weapons to suit everyone's play style. A decent enough story. Really the only complaint I have is that a few bosses feel reused, and the game is rather short my first playthrough was less than 10 hours which is pretty damn short considering I died constantly. If I got good I bet a normal playthrough would only be 4-5 hours.

3. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - Speaking of Souls-likes here is a game that is the next big thing from the souls people themselves. It's not a souls game, it's hard, but it aint a souls game. Sure it has most of the trapings of a souls game. But......okay it's a souls game with a new spin on combat. That's really it though. The story is still that strange obscure mental puzzle, the level design takes the Souls level of depth and interconnectivity and adds a grappling hook so that you can also explore the sky. The combat takes a bit of getting used too because there was no way that people weren't going to approach this game like a Souls game at first. But it turns out that stealth and becoming a master parrier works really well. Hell this is a better stealth action game than anything Kojima ever made if you ask me. The biggest downside for this game is that there are NO gameplay options. You play this game exactly the way it WANTS you to play and you either get used to that or you die. The lack of combat variety holds this back, but as a straightforward stealth-em-up, it's pretty fucking great.

2. The Outer Worlds - Yes Bethesda has done it again, a first person shooter RPG with in depth writing and dialog character options that let you take the game in all kinds of crazy directions, color me shocked that Bethesda has yet again done what they've been good.....errr....hold on a second. Oh wait yeah turns out Bethesda is a piece of shit company and Obsidian had all the talent for this kind of game all along. Bethesda just makes unfunctional broken piles of discarded spunk. The Outer Worlds is great, great writing, wonderful character options, great RPG-elements, and pretty fun combat. Though the combat is probably the weakest link it is still good enough to see you through the game. What got me most about the game is how every stat you level has applications everywhere. If you want to be a cunning linguist, you're silver tongue can actually make the enemies fear you in combat. And being a strong shooty man helps you scare people you talk to into doing the thing you need them to do without the fighty bits. The way they seem to have thought of everything or at least tried to account for everything is just impressive. This was the game that finally made me like FPS-RPG's and I just hope Cyberpunk 2077 is on this same level.

1. Resident Evil 2 (remake): I haven't played the original RE2 since it came out on PS1, but it was one of my favorite PS1 titles hands down. I fucking mastered that game, getting the S+ ranks in every mission so I could play the secret levels as Hunk and Tofu. All I wanted was the Remake to give me that same fun experience again. Well REmake2 gave me exactly that, on top of a pair of shitfilled underwear because this game scared the fucking shit outta me. Not the jumpscary Five Nights at Freddys thing, but the geuine "holy fuck X is coming. where is he? FUCK FUCK! GAHHH!!!" fear that I didn't expect. This game is the shinning example of how to do a Remake correctly. Capcom could have just made it a shiny version of the original game and called it a day. But instead they truly remade the experience. The over-the-shoulder camera and the sheer cinematic quality they gave the OG cutscenes just shows how much they actually cared about doing this game right. Resident Evil 2 Remake is the best experience I've had in gaming in 2019.

Well that about covers it for me. There are some clearly missing games that I didn't mention here, mostly because they weren't good enough or bad enough to fit in either category. Games like Jedi Fallen Order, Kingdom Hearts 3, Mortal Kombat 11, Bloodstained Ritual of the Night, all were solid games that just didn't wow me one way or the other. Kingdom Hearts 3 might be notable in the disappointment category though as I heard that fans weren't super thrilled with what they ended up getting this time around.

I'm curious to see what you guys all think. Do you agree with my ranking? Disagree? What are your top and bottom 5 of the year. I genuinely would like to know, and this year please don't just list your games, tell me why you put each game where you did. Let's talk about what and why we liked or disliked our choices.

This year has been luke-warm for me. Nearly everything I liked came with some caveats that seemed to ultimately stink up the overall experience:

- Control had some technical issues and a flat ending.
- Resident Evil 2's attempt at sincere storytelling and characters clashed with the goofy premise, and was also just kinda boring.
- Devil May Cry 5 was a Devil May Cry game.
- Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order... Jesus Christ, where do I even start.

I think Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the game I enjoyed the most this year eventhough I still haven't finished it and I'm kinda burned out on it as for now. But for a game from a franchise that I'm completely unfamiliar with, from a genre that isn't exactly my cup of tea, and with anime visuals to so thoroughly grab me by the scruff is quite something.

And the least said about Death Stranding the better.

I knew it about Death Stranding. All the people who sided with Kojima and defended him after then whole Konami scandal probably now have egg on their face.

Kojima, you should have just made Silent Hills, but have it be its own thing.

Anyway, so far the best game of the year has been Resident Evil 2 Remake.

CritialGaming:
2019 has basically blown it's load in terms of the game experiences that are coming out this year...

Woah, hey...whoa! Ease your beans there soldier, there's still one more beloved treasure anticipated by hundreds of billions of eagerly nostalgic gamers (rounded up to the nearest hundred billion) that's just come out...so recent, in fact, that critical reviews ain't done yet and only the ever-flaky overzealous user reviews are available to extract some semblance of opinion from; the one and only (except for the last two)...Shenmue 3! Hyeeeepe!

(I don't want to spend the money and time to find out myself, is really what am trying to say)

Neurotic Void Melody:

CritialGaming:
2019 has basically blown it's load in terms of the game experiences that are coming out this year...

Woah, hey...whoa! Ease your beans there soldier, there's still one more beloved treasure anticipated by hundreds of billions of eagerly nostalgic gamers (rounded up to the nearest hundred billion) that's just come out...so recent, in fact, that critical reviews ain't done yet and only the ever-flaky overzealous user reviews are available to extract some semblance of opinion from; the one and only (except for the last two)...Shenmue 3! Hyeeeepe!

(I don't want to spend the money and time to find out myself, is really what am trying to say)

I have no history with the series and no interest. So don't bet on a impressions post from me on that one buddy. Nice to know you enjoy my work though :)

I was slightly surprised by my list.

Winners:

1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - This one was a shoe-in considering my love of FROM's games. Sekiro ended up being everything I hoped it would be and more. That said, I do hope that Sekiro's difficulty level is not setting a precedent for future FROM games. It was significantly more challenging than any other game they have put out thus far, imo.

2. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - MMO expansions are usually completely overlooked on these kinds of lists, but I think Shadowbringers deserves it. Although the expansion launched less than half a year ago, it has already become the best MMO expansion I have ever played (that includes every WoW expansion). The story and OST are top-notch.

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Although I have some gripes with the narrative (actually a lot of gripes) Three Houses was super fun from start to finish. I still need to finish my Golden Deer playthrough (only beat Crimson Rose route), and looking forward to the DLC they are putting out next year.

4. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - I never played this game when it originally came out and I am kinda sad that I didn't. It's basically a fusion of Kotor and Final Fantasy. Once I realized that I was hooked and played through almost all of the content (including Yiazmat)... still need to go back and fight Omega though.

5. Code Vein - This came completely out of left field for me, and I admit that Code Vein is a very flawed game. That said, it is the only straight up Souls-clone I have actually enjoyed (and completed). It had a weird blend of mechanics and features that just really tickled me. The character creator was awesome and the robust progression system was a ton of fun.

Honorable Mentions - FFX Remaster, Astral Chain, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and The Outer Worlds

Stinkers:

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth continues to be shit.

Fappy:
I was slightly surprised by my list.

Winners:

1. Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - This one was a shoe-in considering my love of FROM's games. Sekiro ended up being everything I hoped it would be and more. That said, I do hope that Sekiro's difficulty level is not setting a precedent for future FROM games. It was significantly more challenging than any other game they have put out thus far, imo.

2. Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers - MMO expansions are usually completely overlooked on these kinds of lists, but I think Shadowbringers deserves it. Although the expansion launched less than half a year ago, it has already become the best MMO expansion I have ever played (that includes every WoW expansion). The story and OST are top-notch.

3. Fire Emblem: Three Houses - Although I have some gripes with the narrative (actually a lot of gripes) Three Houses was super fun from start to finish. I still need to finish my Golden Deer playthrough (only beat Crimson Rose route), and looking forward to the DLC they are putting out next year.

4. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age - I never played this game when it originally came out and I am kinda sad that I didn't. It's basically a fusion of Kotor and Final Fantasy. Once I realized that I was hooked and played through almost all of the content (including Yiazmat)... still need to go back and fight Omega though.

5. Code Vein - This came completely out of left field for me, and I admit that Code Vein is a very flawed game. That said, it is the only straight up Souls-clone I have actually enjoyed (and completed). It had a weird blend of mechanics and features that just really tickled me. The character creator was awesome and the robust progression system was a ton of fun.

Honorable Mentions - FFX Remaster, Astral Chain, Pokemon Sword and Shield, and The Outer Worlds

Stinkers:

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth continues to be shit.

How the Outer Worlds is only an honorable mention for you is crazy to me. Especially since two of your top games are previous established entities. But whatever floated your boat i guess. :)

CritialGaming:
-Snip-

Frankly, because the game just has too many flaws for me to put above them. The combat is shallow, which is generally OK for an RPG like this, but when the RPG mechanics of combat and the loot are also dull there is a huge problem (the Perk system is just straight up bad/uninspired design). It didn't scratch the open world Bethesda itch, which is fine, but it also didn't quite scratch the narrative driven Bioware itch either. I chalk that up mostly to a general lack of variety. There is a tight focus on a handful of game areas to explore, severely limited enemy variety, and thematically similar questlines.

There are only two party members that really have any amount of depth, leaving the companions feeling half-baked (especially SAM). How the overall plot unfolds is ultimately kinda meh, especially in its final hours.

It plays out very predictably and familiar if you have experience with Obsidian games.

All that said, I did really enjoy the game but it felt more like a prototype for future Obsidian projects than a complete game to me.

My top 5 for the year would be RE2 Remake, Sekiro..then long time nothing..followed by A Plague Talue, Outer Worlds, Jedi Fallen Order and Death Stranding. I know DS is not for everybody but I really enjoyed it, espescially the world and story. Jedi was a nice surprise espescially the varied gameplay and the genuinely phenomenal graphics. Control would be high on my list as well, another great action game. DmC 5 was also fantastic. Then there is also Ace Combat 7 and Judgement which I also really, really enjoyed. Currently working my way through the entire Yakuza series. xD

There were some remarkable indie titles as well with Blasphemous being at the top for me but I also really liked Dark Devotion, Valfaris and Bloodstained.

stroopwafel:
My top 5 for the year would be RE2 Remake, Sekiro..then long time nothing..followed by A Plague Talue, Outer Worlds, Jedi Fallen Order and Death Stranding. I know DS is not for everybody but I really enjoyed it, espescially the world and story. Jedi was a nice surprise espescially the varied gameplay and the genuinely phenomenal graphics. Control would be high on my list as well, another great action game. Then there is also Ace Combat 7 and Judgement which I also really, really enjoyed. Currently working my way through the entire Yakuza series. xD

There were some remarkable indie titles as well with Blasphemous being at the top for me but I also really liked Dark Devotion, Valfaris and Bloodstained.

I still need to play Blasphemous. How difficult is it compared to Hollow Knight and other Metroidvanias? I have heard horror stories, lol.

Fappy:

stroopwafel:
My top 5 for the year would be RE2 Remake, Sekiro..then long time nothing..followed by A Plague Talue, Outer Worlds, Jedi Fallen Order and Death Stranding. I know DS is not for everybody but I really enjoyed it, espescially the world and story. Jedi was a nice surprise espescially the varied gameplay and the genuinely phenomenal graphics. Control would be high on my list as well, another great action game. Then there is also Ace Combat 7 and Judgement which I also really, really enjoyed. Currently working my way through the entire Yakuza series. xD

There were some remarkable indie titles as well with Blasphemous being at the top for me but I also really liked Dark Devotion, Valfaris and Bloodstained.

I still need to play Blasphemous. How difficult is it compared to Hollow Knight and other Metroidvanias? I have heard horror stories, lol.

Hollow Knight is way harder. Blasphemous is pretty easy in comparison. It's difficulty is more in line with regular Castlevania.

stroopwafel:

Fappy:

stroopwafel:
My top 5 for the year would be RE2 Remake, Sekiro..then long time nothing..followed by A Plague Talue, Outer Worlds, Jedi Fallen Order and Death Stranding. I know DS is not for everybody but I really enjoyed it, espescially the world and story. Jedi was a nice surprise espescially the varied gameplay and the genuinely phenomenal graphics. Control would be high on my list as well, another great action game. Then there is also Ace Combat 7 and Judgement which I also really, really enjoyed. Currently working my way through the entire Yakuza series. xD

There were some remarkable indie titles as well with Blasphemous being at the top for me but I also really liked Dark Devotion, Valfaris and Bloodstained.

I still need to play Blasphemous. How difficult is it compared to Hollow Knight and other Metroidvanias? I have heard horror stories, lol.

Hollow Knight is way harder. Blasphemous is pretty easy in comparison. It's difficulty is more in line with regular Castlevania.

I never did the last Hollow Knight DLC but I heard it is insane. The hardest thing I did in that game was beat Nightmare King Grimm. Kinda nice to hear it's not quite that tough lol.

Best List

5. River City Girls (still need to buy it)

4. Ninja Saviors

3. Astral Chain

2. RE2 Remake

1. Devil May Cry 5

Don't have worse list no mediocre, because I am not going to waste money on any of those games. Nor do I have the time.

I know you asked for a list, but don't have time. You can ask for details if you want.

Anyway, I've played 10 games this year, and am on the 11th. If I rank them all, it looks like this:

11) Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps

10) Mass Effect: Andromeda (currently playing, estimated position based on current experience)

9) Battlefield V

8) BioShock Infinite

7) Red Faction

6) Halo Wars 2

5) Wolfenstein: The New Order

4) Sonic Generations

3) Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

2) Resident Evil 2 (remake)

1) Gears 5

If I confine that list to just what came out this year, then it looks like:

3) Battlefield V
2) Resident Evil 2 (remake)
1) Gears 5

I'm waiting until late december to come up with the obligatory list.

Mostly because I haven't played Borderlands 3 yet (Waiting on some buddies to pick it up on Cyber Monday), and I'm pretty sure that game'll make the list.

stroopwafel:

Fappy:

stroopwafel:
My top 5 for the year would be RE2 Remake, Sekiro..then long time nothing..followed by A Plague Talue, Outer Worlds, Jedi Fallen Order and Death Stranding. I know DS is not for everybody but I really enjoyed it, espescially the world and story. Jedi was a nice surprise espescially the varied gameplay and the genuinely phenomenal graphics. Control would be high on my list as well, another great action game. Then there is also Ace Combat 7 and Judgement which I also really, really enjoyed. Currently working my way through the entire Yakuza series. xD

There were some remarkable indie titles as well with Blasphemous being at the top for me but I also really liked Dark Devotion, Valfaris and Bloodstained.

I still need to play Blasphemous. How difficult is it compared to Hollow Knight and other Metroidvanias? I have heard horror stories, lol.

Hollow Knight is way harder. Blasphemous is pretty easy in comparison. It's difficulty is more in line with regular Castlevania.

Is Hollow Knight that hard? I didn't really have any issues with it except for the nightmare boss fights, I think I may have died like a total of 5 or 6 times my whole play though. Not counting the aforementioned Nightmare boss fights.

CritialGaming:
I have no history with the series and no interest. So don't bet on a impressions post from me on that one buddy. Nice to know you enjoy my work though :)

Having no history or interest is precisely what that game needs instead of the viscous nostalgia goggles the fans are seeing it through! Then again, as an ex-appreciator of the series, the current fanbase isn't something I'd wish upon anybody wanting to critically review the new game. They're...well, not particularly understanding at the best of times. ;)
Personally, I think they're being conned. As the creator had no intention of concluding the story till a further 5 games or so. And it comes with a season pass called something other than a season pass, both of which don't seem like wholesome (highly successful) Kickstarter etiquette at all to me.

Neurotic Void Melody:

CritialGaming:
I have no history with the series and no interest. So don't bet on a impressions post from me on that one buddy. Nice to know you enjoy my work though :)

Having no history or interest is precisely what that game needs instead of the viscous nostalgia goggles the fans are seeing it through! Then again, as an ex-appreciator of the series, the current fanbase isn't something I'd wish upon anybody wanting to critically review the new game. They're...well, not particularly understanding at the best of times. ;)
Personally, I think they're being conned. As the creator had no intention of concluding the story till a further 5 games or so. And it comes with a season pass called something other than a season pass, both of which don't seem like wholesome (highly successful) Kickstarter etiquette at all to me.

Still I have no interest in it and I don't believe i could feign interest enough to give it a proper impressions. Sorry. Even I have limits on what I drop 60 bucks on. :D

I only bought one game this year, and that was Kingdom Hearts 3, so that's my GOTY 👍

CritialGaming:
Still I have no interest in it and I don't believe i could feign interest enough to give it a proper impressions. Sorry. Even I have limits on what I drop 60 bucks on. :D

Oh, don't get me wrong, wasn't intending to try and convince you otherwise; ain't too fond of pressuring people into doing anything and am the worst person at telesales. Was just elaborating on previous thoughts really. :)

Neurotic Void Melody:
snip

Just saw that I have Shenmue 1 and 2 from the last month's Humble Bundle....So turns out...you might get your wish.

From games I've played that were actually released in 2019:

1) Outer Wilds
2) Outer Wilds
3) Outer Wilds
4) Outer Wilds
5) Baba Is You

For my bottom five, reverse it.

I'm updating my list:

12) Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps

11) Overwatch (might have been higher if the matchmaking wasn't so bloody terrible)

10) Battlefield V

9) Mass Effect: Andromeda (currently playing, estimated position based on current experience)

8) BioShock Infinite

7) Red Faction

6) Halo Wars 2

5) Wolfenstein: The New Order

4) Sonic Generations

3) Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

2) Resident Evil 2 (remake)

1) Gears 5

I really didn't play much that was actually new this year. Top 5 2019 releases would be:

1) Astral Chain,
2) Fire Emblem: Three Houses,
3) Luigi's Mansion 3,
4) Code Vein,
5) Blasphemous.

It's been a Switch-heavy year.

Worst was probably Anthem. Very dull. Gave up quick.

The only game I've played that came out this year was Ace Combat 7.

AC7 GOTY.

 

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