It’s that wonderful time of year again, marking both the end of the year and our Game of the Year Awards here at Gamers Heroes. We’re not late to the party, as we like to do ours at the actual end of the year so we don’t miss any potential surprises since we never know what’s coming. Crazy, eh?
Gaming has evolved over the generations to the point where it is practically impossible, and arguably totally unfair, to point out a single, greatest experience of any given year. As such, we’ve built a list of the five greatest games to release in 2019. In no particular order:
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order proves just how flawed the Game of the Year system is. It missed a deadline and wasn’t nominated for anything, despite being the best Star Wars game in years and easily becoming one of the best games of 2019. Fallen Order shines in its world-building, character development, and story arcs. Sekiro’s combat was more robust, but you see shades of it in Fallen Order, and it works well. It also has one of the most likable sidekicks in video games this year in the form of BD-1.
The journey from Jedi Padawan to Jedi Knight is one we rarely get to experience in the video game world, and Fallen Order nails it. You feel Cal’s pain and frustrations over his own weakness and inability to stop the Empire. His growth throughout the game will keep you coming back for more. By the end, you feel powerful enough to face anything the Empire throws at you. Then you quickly get that sense of powerlessness again and realize the journey is only beginning. Good news if Fallen Order 2 has already been greenlit, so now we just wait to continue Cal’s journey.
Check out our Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order review for a full break down.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
Total War: Three Kingdoms raised the bar for the strategy genre to almost unreachable heights. It delivers an unrivaled combination of turn-based strategy and adrenaline fueled battles in an historically accurate representation of the battle between the Three Kingdoms.
Stepping away from the fantasy fueled epic of Total War: Warhammer II, Total War: Three Kingdoms kept up the pace with a fantastic hero system, a varied, challenging and ever-evolving campaign, and the option of doing it all alongside a friend in co-op.
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is on the best of 2019 list. Stepping away from Dark Souls for the first time since 2015, FromSoftware brought forward a new take to melee combat. Focusing on timing and parrying, far more than any Soulsborne before it, the swordplay of Sekiro will be looked back on for years to come. Each hit felt impactful, each successful parry brings a sigh of relief, and every victory is earned.
If you manage to push through Sekiro, you will find a gorgeous game world full depth and lore — a world with secrets waiting to be discovered and enemies waiting to be conquered. The journey from the start of the game to the end will break you down and reform you many times. Every time you fail, the game wants you to quit, wants you to be another person moaning about “easy mode” in video games. If you see it through to the end, though, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment not earned in many other titles.
For our full thoughts on the game, check out our Sekiro review.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses
In a lackluster year for most publishers, Nintendo killed it. Pokemon, Zelda, Luigi’s Mansion, Cadence of Hyrule, and of course, Fire Emblem: Three Houses. For the first time in over ten years, Fire Emblem fans could once again play the series on a home console. You take the role of a teacher at the prestigious Garreg Mach Monastery. Your job is to mold the best and brightest into talented magicians, ruthless warriors, and competent rulers. The catch is you can only guide one house, so you can only get so many students.
While studying and bonding with your students takes up most of your time, battling is at the core of Fire Emblem. In-between study sessions, you will be dispatched with your allies to deal with local bandits, renegade factions, and to spar each other. The tactical combat of the game is basic but effective. It is never stressful unless you want it to be stressful. Still, you are rewarded for good positioning and using proper abilities. Between school time and combat time, you are looking at an excellent 50 hour RPG you can really sink your teeth into.
You can read our review of Fire Emblem: Three Houses here.
We called Control a treasure trove of storytelling in our official review, a combination of exciting narrative tools designed to immerse at every opportunity. At initial glance, Control follows the journey of Jesse Faden as she attempts to track down her brother Dylan in a secret government facility tasked with tracking and investigating mystical objects of power that alter the very fabric of space and time – but looking deeper, it offers so much more.
A multifaceted approach to storytelling encourages the player to dive deeper and deeper, with each level of lore and story more rewarding than the last. Control’s storytelling journey and approach was one of the best this year but add to that a satisfying and impactful combat system, expertly voiced characters, and mesmerizing artistic design, it’s undoubtedly a Game of the Year winner.
2019 was a great year for video games with quality releases hitting on every genre, across all platforms. Did we miss anything? What would be your top 5 games of 2019? Leave a comment below.
Prefer to look ahead? Check out our top 10 games coming in 2020.